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Is Turkey a NATO member or plays solo?

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Is Turkey a NATO member or plays solo?
President Donald J.Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan | Photo credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The new confrontation between the U.S and Turkey has again brought up the question on this country’s role and status in NATO.

Israeli sources said on Jan. 14 that while there is continuous tension between Washington and Ankara, one issue has not been solved- the continued membership of Turkey in NATO, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. “This country acts again and again as if it is not a major member in the alliance. This weakens NATO and puts big question marks over its efficiency” one source said.

On Jan 13, U.S President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter account “Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. (Editor`s note: We Will) Create 20-mile safe zone.”

Trump also wrote: “Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long-term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!”

In recent months, Turkey has made some moves that put the value of this country’s membership in NATO under a considerable doubt. According to Israeli sources, it seems that de facto, Turkey has long deserted its obligation to the organization.

The history of Turkey’s odd actions in the context of NATO is long. The last step has been just another proof of the strange situation.

Last year, when Turkey still considered purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defence systems, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the organization has received no request from Turkey to integrate its Russian origin S-400 missile defense system with the North-Atlantic defense bloc system. “That’s a national Turkish decision. What matters for NATO is whether it will be integrated into the NATO air defense system. There has been no request for that”, Stoltenberg told a group of international reporters on Feb. 20 last year at the alliance headquarters.

Read more: Turkey Does Not Give Up the S-400. The USA Sends a Team to Clarify the Technical Risks.

In the meantime, Turkey came back to the U.S and asked for the advanced version of the Patriot missile system, but according to the Israeli sources, the attitude proves the “very problematic status of Turkey in NATO”.

Read more: Turkey Cleared by the USA to Purchase a Package of Patriot Systems

So, Turkey considered buying Russian-made systems and not long ago was even in negotiations with China regarding a possible deal to purchase Chinese weapon systems. Again, and again the sources added Turkey “Plays solo” and signals that its membership in NATO is without any obligation to the treaty.

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Israel has a master plan to build the UAV`s arsenal in the next 15 years

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Can Israel keep its position as top UAS exporter?
Heron UAS by IAI | Photo credit: Georges Seguin

JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The number of flight hours performed by the Israeli air force (IAF) UAV squadrons is high and will become even higher when some dedicated missions performed by manned aircraft, will be handed to the unmanned platforms, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

“The UAV squadrons are getting a top priority continuous upgrades mainly of the payloads they carry” a source related to the effort said.

Read more: Can Israel keep its position as one of the top UAS exporter?

The trend is resulting with some major decisions about the way the IAF invests in its manned platforms.

One good example is the decision not to perform major upgrades of the IAF’s B-200 reconnaissance aircraft. This after a decision has been made to transfer all the missions of this platform to the Heron -TP UAV.

The last major upgrade of the B-200 platform was performed four years ago.

The B-200 squadron was the busiest in the IAF.

The IAF is continuously working on increasing the number and capabilities of its Heron-TP (Eitan) strategic UAV.

Based on the strategic capabilities of the Heron-TP, the IAF commander recently decided to multiply the number of UAV that the squadron operates.

Read more: VMZ Sopot Will Produce UAVs Based on Israeli Technology

The increase in the number of Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron – TP UAV is part of the IAF’s UAV master plan meant to build the force’s UAV arsenal in the coming 15 years.

To perform the missions of the manned reconnaissance aircraft, the Heron-TP is being equipped with new sensors and new communication systems. UAV are currently operating more than 50 % of the total flight hours performed by the IAF and this number is going to increase as new capabilities are added to currently operated systems. New UAV’s are now in the development phases and will enter service in the coming years.

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Israel intends to take care of the “Syrian Problem” by itself due the US`s decision to withdraw their troops from Syria

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Israel intends to take care of the “Syrian Problem” by itself due the US`s decision to withdraw their troops from Syria
Photo credit: Reuters

JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Israel does not rely on the fact that U.S president Donald Trump finally understood the mistake of withdrawing the American forces from Syria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

All the signs point to a very slow withdrawal, that on the one hand projects the original decision of the U.S president and on the other, the realization that it was a mistake based on the reactions from almost all the defence experts in the Pentagon.

And Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also joined the opposition and explained Trump that the withdrawal is a mistake.

Behind closed doors in Israeli state organizations, very harsh words were said about Trump’s decision.

Read more: Israel has used Lebanese airspace to avoid Russian S-300 on yesterday’s attack in Syria (Photos)

Read more: The Israeli air force has performed an air attack on Iranian targets in Syria

So, the withdrawal of the 2000 U.S military from Syria will be slow but it seems that Israel understands that this is an inevitable process.

What was clear from the start, is that Israel intends to take care of the “Syrian Problem” by itself.

The over 200 airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria during 2018, are only the public part of the Israeli operations. Others are highly classified.

And back to the original decision.

In recent months and following the appointment of a special US envoy to Syria, senior figures, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, had declared, contrary to Trump’s initial approach, that American forces would remain in Syria until the Iranians left and a political settlement was reached. The resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis illustrates the wide gap between the President’s decision and the position of professional associates.

According to a paper written by Eldad Shavit, and Udi Dekel , researchers in the Israeli institute for national security studies (INSS) ,the immediate reasons for President Trump’s decision at this point are still not clear.

The researchers say that Whether they may be related to internal causes and/or to the “deal” that he is trying to advance with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which will link the sale of Patriot air defense systems as a substitute for the S-400 that Ankara wants to purchase from Russia and the further sale of F-35 planes to Turkey.

Read more: Kremlin Spokesman: Russia Presses Ahead with the S-400 Sale to Turkey Despite the U.S. Offer

Read more: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Considers the Purchase of Russian S-400s to be a “Done Deal”

The paper says that It also appears that the withdrawal is intended to prevent friction between the US and Turkish forces in northeastern Syria. ”In any event, the decision does not appear to be a component of a broader agreement in Syria that involves Russia as well.”

The paper says that president Trump explained his decision by saying there was no further need for American forces in Syria since the mission to defeat the Islamic State was accomplished successfully, and the US did not have to be the regional “policeman.” Indeed, the military efforts of the coalition headed by the United States have recorded many victories in their attacks on the Islamic State, but active fighting forces remain in Syria and Iraq (according to recent reports there are about 3,000 fighters in the area).

Israeli sources say that the claim that ISIS was wiped out of Syria is not based on any solid facts.

Whatever the immediate cause, this decision, together with other moves and statements by President Trump since he took office, shows that even if he has set himself a number of objectives in the Middle East, and above all, a change in Iranian policy, Trump is not prepared (partly due to his wish to please his voters) to continue carrying the burden and the risks of US forces in the Middle East.

Read more: Damascus still has the capability to launch attacks based on chemical weapons

In the background are reports that the army has been instructed to start limiting the number of troops in Afghanistan. “This follows complaints that the United States has not received any gratitude from its allies in the region. In effect, apart from the efforts to renew and reinforce the sanctions on Iran, this move leaves the US with no coherent policy regarding the objectives that it would like to achieve.”

The researchers say that U.S allies in the region understand they cannot rely on the administration as a central component of their strategy for dealing with the threats before them.

“The withdrawal of forces (about 2000 soldiers, the majority of them Special Forces) is perceived as another “betrayal” by the United States of its allies, and this time the price will be paid by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which comprise mostly Kurdish forces that were established and armed by the United States and led the ground fighting efforts against the Islamic State in Syria. Washington’s decision aggravates its loss of credibility among regional elements and undermines the status of senior administration figures who are spokespeople for US policy.” comment Eldad Shavit and Udi Dekel from Israeli Institude for National Security Stidies in their research.

Israeli sources told BulgarianMilitary.com that all preparations have been made to deal with larger scale operations that the different parties in Syria might perform when the U.S troops are no longer in the country.

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Source: Israeli institute for national security studies (INSS)

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Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

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Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached
Grenade launcher RPG-7 photographed in Syria | Picture by Andrea DiCenzo

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Do not be under a delusion. Bulgaria is not such an important factor in the UN and NATO, despite our membership. Our country turned out to be in the right place at the right time as far as the international arms trade is concerned.

And although Bulgaria has neither breached the UN Arms Trade Treaty, nor threatened with its activities its NATO membership, the Bulgarian companies in the sector “military production” have been experiencing their Renaissance over the recent years, thanks to deals, breaching some major rules.

Background of ISIS
Everything began in 2006 after the murder of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, when the Egyptian Abu Ayyub al-Masri succeeded him and renamed the terrorist organization to ISI – Islamic State of Iraq. Four years later Masri followed the destiny of Zarqawi and he was succeeded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi | Photo Credit: Washington Times

Within those years it also began the civil war in Syria and the chance ISI to become a large-scale terrorist organization was available. ISI started war with the Syrian army, taking advantage of the situation in the country and this led to the control over large territories. In those years, the name was changed and the latest terrorism was already called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Years of progress of ISIS followed, and the emblematic places of Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq were already under “their possession.”
Now we ask ourselves – why CIA and GRU did not make a military-political analysis of the emerging terrorist group right from the very beginning, provided that there were sufficient reasons for that to happen.

Or maybe they did!?

How the USA created Black Sea Road
In the years when a civil war ranged in Syria on one hand, and ISIS rampaged with its laws on the other hand, the United States and Russia saw different opportunities. The United States wanted to overthrow one more “dictator”, Russia – to retain the legitimately elected president. This, however, is the version for the public.

In fact, the USA saw the unique opportunity to oppose to the Russian Federation by increasing the existing in the region conflict, by which to disturb planned big arms supplies of RosOboronExport. However, it could not do that directly and that is why it had to create the so called Black Sea Road, i.e. a way in which to do what they had planned, and namely – armament and training of the National Army for the Liberation of Syria, which, through American money, to oppose the Syrian dictator Assad. They knew that Russia would support the government of Syria, through which it would enter a “research mode” from a distance of thousands miles.

An increase of the US military budgets followed in the next years, as well as purchases of weapons and ammunition on a mass scale from the former socialist countries, including Bulgaria.

Black Sea Road has an elementary logic – in order to be saved big expenses for transportation of weapons and some “international legal obstacles” to be avoided, the Pentagon purchases weapons from the former socialist countries, and by using Bulgaria and Romania as a distribution hub, it transports them to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. On its part, the latter three countries equipped the rebel forces in Syria through which they extended their existence.

But in order the picture to be complete, big part of those weapons fell into the hands of ISIS. The reasons for that are a lot, but the most important one seems to be the Islamization of a big part of the then service members and their desert to the terrorism. And they did that with the weapons, which were assigned to them.

Islamization, which was again slumbered away by Russia and the United States. Was it?!

How Bulgaria benefited from that whole cycle?
If you think that it is about ten or twenty million dollars, you do not know the ideological dimensions of the idea of maintaining exactly that conflict. The Pentagon, though its subdivisions and companies, has bought weapons and ammunition, only from Bulgaria, at the total amount of $243 million, and our country is within the top positions of the foreseen for the purpose $2.2 billion.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

The pentagon`s Arms Spending Spree For Syrian Rebels | Source: OCCRP

As of the moment, it has been spent $718 million from the whole planned budget, and only one US company Picatinny Arms has prepared contracts at the amount of approximately $900 million more.

In this way, the Bulgarian companies in the defence sector have a serious market without having wanted it. Of course, all this would not have been a problem, if a big part of the Bulgarian arms were not found in the hands of the defeated military squads of ISIS.

The interpretations whether Bulgaria is guilty or not are useless. We will not save you the answer. You will just find it in the lines below.

Who gave Bulgarian arms in the hands of the terrorists?
We say that every day – America. But it seems that we have stopped using evidences. And there are such mainly against several American companies, as well as against companies from Saudi Arabia. But there are also serious evidences related to the Pentagon. Let’s review them one by one.

With the entering of ISIS in Syria, the USA developed a program for equipment of the Syrian rebels against Assad, which is called Syria Train and Equip. For the purpose, a big quantity of weapons and ammunition had to be purchased from the subdivision in the Pentagon – SOCOM (The Special operations command). SOCOM started even in October 2015 with the delivery of 50 tons of ammunition and missiles, and that was only the beginning. According to the report of the Organized Crime and Corruption Report Project (OCCRP), it followed a purchase of weapons and ammunition at the amount of $238 million from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

According to the requirements of the Pentagon, “the list of purchases” continued to be filled in with thousands of AK-47s and RPGs.

Although, SOCOM was not included and acknowledged in the Syria Train and Equip Program, within a journalistic investigation, the Pentagon had to officially acknowledge that the subdivision in question had been really assigned the task for delivery of weapons and ammunition for the Syrian rebels.

SOCOM entangled in some more scandals with weapons, and the most obvious one was the purchase of 48 RPGs from VMZ Sopot. The problem is not that weapons have been bought, but the document, which is presented as “End User Certificate” (EUC`s). According to the approved international law, NATO standards and UN Arms Trade Treaty, that certificate has a specific structure, in which it shall be obligatorily mentioned two things – who the end user is and a declaration that the end user will not resell or transfer the purchased by it arms. However, SOCOM presents a questionable document, which does not at all guarantee that, and it even allows it. Thus, the Pentagon interprets its interest in its own way and drives to bay the UN and NATO member states.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

A side-by-side comparison of a “typical” end-user certificate, showing a clear end destination, and a misleading SOCOM certificate that allows the US to transfer weapons to any of its partners. (Click to enlarge.) | Source: BIRN

Another supplier of the Pentagon is the company Picatinny Arsenal. Headquartered in New Jersey and not so big, it has a serious lobby in the face of the republican congressman – Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, who has even shared a special place for Picatinny Arsenal on his web page. It fell into the field of vision of OCCRP, after they had noticed that the Pentagon had corrected, through erasing, the final destination of the weapons, purchased from Bulgaria. According to initial information, Iraq and Syria were the final delivery points, but after the intervention of the Pentagon they were deleted. Fortunately, the OCCRP investigative journalists had cleverly copied the original document, which we can show you.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

Before and after images from a Pentagon procurement database show how the end destinations, “Syria and Iraq,” were removed from the procurement records. | Source: BRIN (Click to enlarge.)

In the same time, another independent organization – Conflict Armament Research (CAR) went even farther and went to a place in Syria, where it filmed and categorized the weapons taken away from ISIS.

Thus, for example, in 2016 the Iraqi police forces took away from the ISIS forces a rocket-propelled grenade produced in Bulgaria – 9M111MB-1 ATGW, about which Bulgaria admitted that it was exported in 2015 and the end user was the US department. As of the moment there is not an answer from the USA how that weapon has turned out to be in the hands of ISIS.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

A Bulgarian 9M111MB-1 ATGW missile tube exported to the US Army on 12 December 2015
Documented by a CAR field investigation team in Al Khalidiyah, Iraq, February 2016 | Source: CAR

Another example is from the beginning of 2017 when in Mosul, the Iraqi units again took away from the ISIS forces the same model of rocket-propelled grenade. Bulgaria again confirmed that the grenade was exported and sold to the US department, and the USA is again silent and does not give an answer to the asked questions

But the most striking case is the purchase of the PG-7T 40 mm grenade by the US company Kiesler Police Supply with an explicit clause for non-transference of the grenade in question. Bulgaria has confirmed that the grenade has been sold to that company. As of the moment neither the company, nor the US government has explained how it turned out to be part of the equipment of ISIS in the region of Al Hasakah, Syria.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

A Bulgarian PG-7T 40 mm rocket exported to the US Army on 23 June 2014
Documented by a CAR field investigation team in Al Hasakah, Syria, May 2015 | Source: CAR

The examples are a lot and we do not see any sense in listing them, and the case in point is not always America or American companies. In the report, Saudi Arabia is also mentioned with the same activities, reviewed by now. But the overall picture acquires its nuances.

Bulgaria Benefits from Conflicts, in Which International Rules Are Breached

Spleeters inspects mortar projectiles in a building that ISIS abandoned when it lost control of Tal Afar. |
Photo by Andrea DiCenzo

The CAR`s investigator Damien Spleeters says: “So how exactly did American weapons end up with ISIS? According to a July 19, 2017, report in The Washington Post, the US government secretly trained and armed Syrian rebels from 2013 until mid-2017, at which point the Trump administration discontinued the program—in part over fears that US weapons were ending up in the wrong hands. The US government did not reply to multiple requests for comment on how these weapons wound up in the hands of Syrian rebels or in an ISIS munitions factory. The government also declined to comment on whether the US violated the terms of its end-user certificate and, by extension, failed to comply with the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, of which it is one of 130 signatories.”

(Download full CAR Report)

The silence of NATO and the UN is “a bonus” to Bulgaria.
Actually, along the trading chain of the sold Bulgarian arms we have two major players – the Bulgarian military manufacturers and the US purchasers.

However, the hidden participants are two organizations – the UN and NATO.

Their inactivity, silence and non-undertaking of measures on these deals makes them guilty as much as the USA or Saudi Arabia. Through those activities of theirs and by creating a precedent, they allow many future similar deals to happen.

This is already dangerous, because it is a serious prerequisite for corruption at very high international level, which to affect the lives of many people.

On the other hand, the inactivity of the two organizations threatens the Eastern European governments that sell weapons and ammunition to be at risk of non-compliance with the international law. So far there has been no a reverse reaction, and Bulgaria continues to sell to US companies, but till when? Could this partnership at one point turn out to be too “expensive” for the Bulgarian state?

And last but not least, what will happen with those weapons after ISIS is defeated?

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Sources: Organized Crime and Corruption Report Project, Conflict Armament Research, Wired

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Can Israel keep its position as one of the top UAS exporter?

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Can Israel keep its position as top UAS exporter?
Heron UAS by IAI | Photo credit: Georges Seguin

JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The saying “Troubles come in packages” has been recently proven to be very true.

An Israeli company lost two major tenders for the supply of advanced UAS. The total loss is estimated at 1.2 billion U.S $. But that is just the introduction to a very serious issue that Israeli companies have and will have to deal with in the coming years.

The fact that Israeli companies make some of the best, combat proven UAV’s, does not ensure that these will continue to be selected by foreign countries.

Unmanned air systems (UAS) have become a very important item in the defence items shopping lists of countries around the world.

Since 1985, Israel has accounted one of the main UAV exports worldwide. Despite China’s move into armed UAV exports, it only supplied 0.9% of total exports during this last couple of decades.

Can Israel keep its position as one of the top UAS exporter?

Can Israel keep its position as top UAS exporter?

Significant Global Demand Pushes UAV Sales to Exceed $82 Billion over Next 10 Years. Source: IHS Markit

Well, this is becoming more complicated from month to month. This, due to factors that some can be controlled by Israel, while others are not in the country’s influence “foot print”. The open war between the two major Israeli UAS manufacturers has a very strong impact. Some years ago, the Israeli ministry of defence has withdrawn the export permits to Poland held by the two majors Israeli UAS manufacturers – Israel aerospace industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems.

Read more: VMZ Sopot Will Produce UAVs Based on Israeli Technology

The decision was taken after a fight between the two Israeli companies resulted in resignation of then Poland’s Deputy Minister of Defense.

When the details emerged, the Polish press said that he was forced to resign for internal reasons. But the competition between Elbit Systems and IAI for the sale of UAV’s to the Polish Army, which got out of control, was a contributing factor.

This is one example to the problems Israel faces in its attempt to keep its top place in the exporting countries list.

Another example – last year the Israeli foreign ministry blocked the sale of UAS to Ukraine. This to avoid any negative effect on the Russian -Israeli relations. Since the armed conflict between Russia and the Ukraine has started and intensified, the Ukraine has expressed its urgent need for some types of Israeli made UAS. Negotiations began with some Israeli manufacturers and at least one has reached a very advanced stage. The foreign ministry’s step was a result of Israel’s effort not to provoke Moscow. In recent years, Israel has asked Moscow again and again to avoid selling weapon systems, mainly advanced surface – air missiles to Iran and Syria.

The situation has completely changed following the so called “Iran nuclear” agreement, and the war in Syria. Moscow is now supplying Iran with arms of all types and Syria, or what was left from this country, is flooded with Russian weapons systems, that are being operated by Russians with Syrian personnel “in the area”.

These two examples and there are many more , show that the number of Israeli made UAV’s exported to foreign countries, does not depend only on their quality and price.

And while in most of the competing countries the government helps the local industries to market their products. Israeli politicians, refrain from doing it, even when it is clear that the decision will be made based on political reasons, and not on the quality or the price of the system.

Read more: The Acquisition of IMI Systems by Elbit Systems Has Been Finalised

But something else is lacking – Israel as a state has not made any move to fortify the status of the local UAS industry. This lack of macro thinking will have a very bad effect in the future.
U.S companies are now competing on tenders that previously were considered “Marginal” money wise.

“Now we find American companies in almost every competition„ a source in the ministry of defence said.

And while this happens in the U.S, in Israel there are no signs that the government has even looked at the issue. Instead, the situation in Israel causes almost an endless war between the different UAS manufacturers, with some reaching a point where it’s hard for them to survive.

While the market is flooded with different UAS , and while not any potential customer needs the “combat proven ” systems, manufacturers in many countries , especially China manage to export their products while the Israeli companies still fight against each other and when in most cases , their systems are not cleared for export.

Earlier this year, a very fierce fight between Israel and the U.S about the sale of advanced UAV to Germany, ended with an Israeli victory. The German parliament has approved the € 1 billion deal to lease Heron-TP UAVs manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The approval put an end to a long and twisted saga caused by a mixture of competition and politics.

Can Israel keep its position as top UAS exporter?

Photo credit: Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany. Source: Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE) (via Flickr)

The vote was made after a heated discussion within the coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, following the objections of several of its members to purchase UAVs that may carry armaments.

The deal includes a payment of € 720 million to Airbus Defense and Space, which will lease 7 UAVs from IAI (five for missions and two for training), and another € 177 million to be transferred to the Israeli government for use at airports, And supervision and support and maintenance services.

The Heron -TP is designed to enable the German army to perform long endurance intelligence gathering missions. This until a Euro-Drone is developed in partnership with France, Italy, and Spain.

The German high court earlier this year, rejected the General Atomics appeal that was filed after the Germans selected the Israeli made UAV.

General Atomics, that offered the MQ-9 Reaper appealed the selection. A lower court has rejected the American company’s appeal and the case was brought before a higher court.

The General Atomics appeal was based on the claim that the selection was made without a competition and that the Heron -TP is not in NATO’s inventory.

According to the Germans, the Heron TP is needed to protect and support the German Bundeswehr in deployed operations and will fill the gap between the currently used Heron 1 system and the future European MALE UAV.

And only recently IAI lost two competitions where is offered it Hero-TP – one in Belgium and the other in Australia. The two contracts are valued at 1.2 billion U.S $.

In the two countries the Israel UAV competed against the General Atomics MQ- 9 Reaper.

Read more: The US Army Will Operate Raytheon’s Coyote UAVs

Israeli sources say that the weight of politics is the two selection was critical.

So the Israeli companies face a new very complicated situation. While the Israeli ministry of defence has recently eased the export regulations of Israeli made defence systems, including UAV’s, this is not enough.

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